Alike most of the Bengalis I am not a Dhokar Dalna fan but I make it often since Hubby loves it a lot! Dhokar Dalna is a signature vegetarian Bengali dish where Dhoka depicted for Lentil cake but not Cheating (in Hindi Dhoka means Cheating) ! This dish is traditionally prepared without using Onion and Garlic. My Maa makes awesome Dhokar Dalna and she never uses a packaged mix which is now easily available in Grocery shops in West Bengal and Bong shops in other states/ countries though I found that packets really useful since making Dhokar Dalna is a bit tedious for me!
Dhoka is prepared with a mixture of Cholar Daal and Matar Daal, however, some people use only Cholar Daal or Bengal Gram for preparing Dhoka. My Mom uses both the lentil in a ratio of 3:1 and I also prefer to use both upon the availability of Matar Dal or Yellow Split Pea in my kitchen store.
Potato plays a major role in almost every Bengali “Dalna”. In fact, By the size of the Potato the name of the Gravy changes in Bengali Cuisine. While preparing Dalna We need medium-cut potatoes.
Here's how I cook Dhokar Dalna at Debjanir Rannaghar!
A signature Bengali no onion no garlic dish where Dhoka bhaja or Fried lentil cake is cooked with potato and tempered with clarified butter, and Indian spices.
To make Dhoka:
- 150g Bengal Gram (Chana Dal)
- 75g Yellow split pea (Matar dal)
- 1 Tsp. Sugar
- 1 Tsp. Asafoetida
- 1/2 Tsp. Garam Masala Powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Cumin Powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Carom Seed (Jowan/ Ajwain)
- 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric powder
- 1/2 Tsp. Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 200ml Refined Vegetable for Frying
- 1 Tsp. Salt
For Making the Dhokar Dalna:
- 12 Fried Dhoka
- 2 Potatoes (Big Size)
- 2 Tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. Ginger Paste
- 1/2 Tsp. Asafoetida
- 1/2 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
- 2 Dry Red Chilli
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 Tsp. Cumin Powder
- 1 Tsp. Bengali Garam Masala Powder
- 1 Tsp. Sugar
- 1/2 Tsp. Turmeric powder
- 1 Tsp. Kashmiri Red Chili powder
- 1 Tbsp. Ghee
Making of Dhoka Bhaja or Fried Lentil Cakes:
- Soak both the pulses for about 2 to 3 hours (preferably overnight) and then make a paste of the soaked pulses (make sure that the paste is medium smooth in texture).
- Dry Roast Carom Seed and then make a powder of Carom Seed or Jowan.
- Add Salt, Turmeric Powder, Red Chili Powder, Sugar, Asafoetida, Garam masala powder Cumin Powder and Carom Seed Powder to the paste.
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a non-steak pan.
- Add the paste and cook for 2 to 3 minutes in medium flame to semi-cook the Daal mix or till the moisture evaporates a bit and the mix dry.
- Smear little Oil in a dish and pour the cooked dal paste over the dish with almost an inch depth. I've used my Baking tray for smearing the lentil Paste. Leave it for 5 minutes
- Cut Dhoka into small diamond shaped or square pieces.
- Heat sufficient Oil in a Wok and fry Diamond shaped Lentil cakes a.k.a Dhoka in medium flame till those turn Golden Brown in color and strain from Oil. I prefer to fry 2-3 Dhoka in each batch.
Making of Dhokar Dalna:
- Keep 3 Tbsp. Oil in the pan.
- Fry Potato in the remaining oil after sprinkling little salt and turmeric powder until those turn Golden Brown in color.
- Make a Paste of Turmeric Powder, Kashmiri Red Chili Powder, and Cumin Powder with 1 Tbsp. of Water and keep the paste aside.
- In a Pan heat two Tbsp. Oil and temper it with Cumin Seeds, b, y leaf and Dried Red Chilies and Asafoetida.
- Add Chopped Tomatoes and Ginger Paste and cook for 2-3 minutes in low flame and add previously prepared Masala Paste and then cook for 4-5minutes unlit oil separates from the mixture.
- Now add very little water in between if required.
- Add Salt and Sugar to the mixture.
- Now add Fried Potatoes and then add two cups of water (hot) and Cover the Pan with a lid and cook for around 5 minutes or till Potatoes soften.
- Add the fried Dhokas carefully and cook for 5 minutes in low flame.
- You can crumble one dhoka bhaja and add that to the gravy to thicken it.
- Add Ghee and Garam Masala Powder and then cook for 1-2 more minutes and switch the flame off and give the dish a standing time of 10 minutes before serving.
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Bengali
Keywords: Dhokar Dalna Recipe, Bengali Dhokar torkari
To serve Dhokar Dalna!
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